Practitioners Must Hold Themselves to a High Standard
(Clearwisdom.net) I realized something yesterday when I studied the section entitled "Different Levels Have Different Fa" in Lecture One of Zhuan Falun. My personal understanding is that at different levels, the Fa has different standards for and requirements of sentient beings. For example, the standard for being a person is to be "kind, loyal, polite, wise, and trustworthy." There is a passage in the section entitled "Why Doesn't Your Gong Increase with Your Practice?":
"If a person, with all kinds of human sentiment and desires among everyday people, is allowed to ascend and become a Buddha--think about it--is this possible? He may have a wicked thought upon finding a Bodhisattva so beautiful. This person may start a conflict with a Buddha because his jealousy has not been eliminated. How can these things be allowed to take place?" (Lecture One of Zhuan Falun)
I suddenly understood the fact that for an enlightened person, he is not supposed to even have such a thought. As long as one has a thought of lust or jealousy, one is not reaching the standard of high levels and one's level is lowered immediately. But how many times have we had such wicked thoughts occurring in our cultivation? Although the portions of us on our surface are still not assimilated with Dafa, we are on the path of a divine being, after all. Why shouldn't we use the standards of a divine being to measure ourselves? We are so lax with ourselves that we behave like ordinary people and have all sorts of indecent thoughts when we are among them.
Cultivation is a serious matter. The higher the level, the more stringent the requirements are. At the human beings' level, some action, such as murder or arson, needs to take place to be considered a crime. But for a divine being, an indecent thought is sufficient to cause you to drop in your level. My personal understanding is that although Teacher wants us to do all of the three things well, cultivating oneself well is still the most fundamental. It is a very serious matter. If we cannot cultivate well and make our hearts pure and righteous, no matter how many deeds we have accomplished, it means nothing. Only by cultivating well, can our actions in saving sentient beings be the greatest and most glorious.
I read some articles of practitioners' experience sharing one night and came to understand something. That is, practitioners should only validate Dafa, rather than validate anything else. My understanding of "to validate" is to use one's own thoughts and behaviors to prove something. What we validate is Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We should not validate anything that is not in accordance with the Fa. For example, if we only think of, say, and do things that conform to the Fa, then we are automatically validating Dafa. When we do the three things well, we are validating the Fa. But many of us have unknowingly validated something else also, such as resentment, lust, jealousy, fighting, selfishness, and attachments of fear and anger. When these bad factors appear, and we are controlled by them, then we are essentially validating them. If what we think, say, and do are driven by these factors, then it means that we have accepted them. I realized that when we are faced with these bad factors, we should suppress them, rather than give in to them. Even if we cannot completely get rid of them at once, we should not accept them. We need to let them go and think less of them. If we can resist and reject them, then the harm of these elements will be limited, because things cannot be forced upon a person when he does not accept them.